New footbridge from Downtown Jersey City to Liberty State Park aims for June completion

via NJ.com

The footbridge that connected downtown Jersey City with Liberty State Park was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. (Lauren Casselberry/The Jersey Journal)

Six months ago Hurricane Sandy washed away the footbridge connecting Jersey Avenue in Downtown Jersey City to Liberty State Park but construction of a new bridge is set to begin, officials said.

“We know how important this piece of infrastructure is to our residents, and that is why we worked quickly with our (Office of Emergency Management) officials and our engineering staff to find a way to expedite the replacement of the Jersey Avenue footbridge,” Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy said in a statement. “I am pleased that we will be able to open this bridge for use in the summer months.”

A press conference to kick off the construction project was held Thursday at the foot of Jersey Avenue.

The new bridge, which will provide access in and out of the park for pedestrians and cyclists, will cost roughly $750,000, city officials said.

Jersey City has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Administration for reimbursement, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.

The bridge is expected to be completed by early June.

Jersey City lauds long-awaited construction of $180 million residential tower

via Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

(Photo Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Jersey City officials today cheered the groundbreaking of a long-awaited, 35-story residential tower set for the former site of an historic warehouse.

Construction on the tower, located at 110 First St., began weeks ago, but city officials appeared on First Street today to don construction hats and throw some dirt around in shovels emblazoned with the proposed tower’s street address.

“This is going to be a great place to live,” said Richard Mack, CEO of Area Property Partners’ North American business, a leading investor in the $180 million tower.

110 First St., set for completion by March 2015, will be home to over 350 rental units and will reach 375 feet, according to Lloyd Goldman, developer of the project. The building, which will also have 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, was approved for over 450 units in early 2008.

The residential tower will sit on the site of an historic warehouse that Goldman demolished in 2004. The warehouse was one of two – the other was located across the street at 111 First St. – at the center of a lawsuit between Goldman’s New Gold Equities and the city that was settled in 2006.

Today’s groundbreaking was strictly ceremonial, and in fact took place on the 111 First St. site because there was construction occurring on the 110 First St. site.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy today said the city should be “business friendly.”

“For our city to continue to survive and actually thrive, it’s dependent on private development,” said Healy, who is running for a third full term in May’s city election.

At about this time before the May 2009 city election, which Healy won handily, the mayor appeared in Journal Square to herald the imminent construction of a twin towers project that has yet to materialize.

Asked about that today, the mayor said the 110 First St. project is completely funded, while the twin towers proposal came soon after the 2008 economic collapse.

“It’s a different time, it’s a different place,” he said.

Goldman said the imminent completion of the new World Trade Center tower across the Hudson River is reason enough for him to be confident about the need for a new residential tower in Downtown Jersey City.

“Those workers need housing and this is the ideal location,” he said.